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Poster: Purple Gel Date: Sep 17, 2010 9:54am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1970 Box of Rain

I disagree.

Of course, no rule is without exception, and yes there may be frustrating, inapropriate questions and annoying questioners. Even then, people deserve to be treated seriously and with respect.

I've been in many lectures and classes, and I've run and attended many conferences. Sometimes it's just hard to stay focused for the whole time, people do get distracted in many different ways. Just because something has been covered, does that mean that your SOL if you missed it and you shouldn't be able to ask the question without being belittled? Some folks need things repeated to them, or explained in an alternate way, in order to understand or retain what they've heard. Sometimes even the sharpest people just didn't quite get it on the first run. Sometimes it is the lecturer's fault for not making it clear in the first place. Sometimes the appropriate response is to tell them that a particular question is best asked at a later time. As a parent who is paying tens of thousands of dollars a year to send my kid to school, I expect him to pay attention and treat all others with respect, but I also expect him to be treated with respect when he asks questions, no matter what the reason.

The problem with using the word "stupid" is that it is a disrespectful, harsh, contemptious and judgemental word that stifles the discussion for all involved, not just the intended target. It not only belittles the questioner and discourages further discourse from him or her, but it also can serve to intimidate others in the conversation and make them hesitant to speak up themselves and ask their questions for fear of recieving similar treatment. The word "stupid" has no place in an academic, business or social setting.

Personally, I think that there are too few questions being asked these days and that people should be encouraged to ask more of them. Too many people are just content to believe and swallow anything they are being told. When people are discouraged from asking small, seemingly insignificant or annoying questions, then many will be hesitant to ask the bigger more pertinent ones for fear of rebuke. I don't care what your politics, religion or intelligence level is, please ask more questions!

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Poster: William Tell Date: Sep 17, 2010 12:08pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1970 Box of Rain

Sorry again, PG, you soo pissed me off, here's my org text you obviously missed:

"Yes, the way to encourage students asking questions is to listen patiently to each and every one, correct them politely, with humor if possible if it contained mis-information, etc., etc.

I have had plenty of students ask very stupid questions: IE, completely OFF TOPIC, about only themselves (ie, "well I had this thing in my refrig...what do you think it is?") with absolutely no contribution to class nor to general knowledge, nor to the subject at hand...these students have often told me privately "I ask those questions to make it seem like I am participating".

So, I hate to say, Band's right: the whole edu speak biz about "no bad questions" has completely back fired. It encourages students to ask stupid questions without really thinking, much less the lazy ones..."

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Sep 17, 2010 1:23pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1970 Box of Rain

I am heading off for the weekend and hoping you aren't ticked at me. Will be off a couple of days.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Sep 17, 2010 3:02pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1970 Box of Rain

Of course not--as usual, I over-reacted as it "touched a nerve" on something I've spent forty yrs researching, writing about, blah, blah, blah...lots of well intentioned cliches have this kind of misguided, misdirected impact, and frankly, the continued defence when one recognizes it, baffles me...that's why, without sounding too condescending, I think that PG and I are talking two different issues...

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Sep 17, 2010 12:16pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1970 Box of Rain

I think it's just misguided. It's meant to create a climate of respect etc., But the kids who are hesitant or underconfident are not encouraged by being told "There's no stupid question" - 'cus often, they're smart kids, and they know there ARE stupid questions because they hear other kids ask them. They don't want to do the same. And as you say, the ones who don't engage their brains before opening their mouths anyway, hardly need more encouragement to say whatever pops into their head.

There are some kids who put their hand up automatically right away when the teacher asks for input, and you can tell when they are called on and have to start speaking, they had no idea what they were going to say before they said it.

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Poster: banditos33 Date: Sep 17, 2010 2:27pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1970 Box of Rain

I know that really pains you to agree with me, but I can agree to an extent with PG that the word stupid is in really bad taste but it should not be taboo. with that said anymore replys on this topic by me is just plain STUPID. I have some prime Dead to dig into.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Sep 17, 2010 2:56pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1970 Box of Rain

Absolutely; that's why I said, "let's call them 'inappropriate' or some such"...PG and I are really talking about two different things.

But, I do maintain the well intentioned adage "no stupid questions" has backfired for the reasons that Ring Lee O and I outlined above...there are better ways of achieving the ends this means attempts to achieve.

I defn agree that "questioning everything", etc., etc., the good notion PG's really getting at, is well placed. And I only used "stupid" because that was the original term, and I was confronting the cliche not the definitional shortcomings, etc.

But we spoke past each other, or as I crankily suggested, PG didn't read my prior posting about "always be polite"...so, again, never tell someone "that's a stupid" question; but like all the other classmates do (rolling their eyes, comments to the teacher, etc., etc.) like all things "social" you should learn how to ask useful and productive questions in pursuit of knowledge, etc., etc.

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Poster: banditos33 Date: Sep 17, 2010 10:57am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1970 Box of Rain

Oh great, we can add a new word to the ever growing list of PC horseshit for the thinned skinned.

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Sep 17, 2010 11:49am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1970 Box of Rain

I will certainly never ask about Box of Rain again :)

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Poster: banditos33 Date: Sep 17, 2010 3:42pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1970 Box of Rain

sorry this has turned into a BOX OF PAIN

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Poster: William Tell Date: Sep 17, 2010 12:07pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1970 Box of Rain

Wrong...that's not what I said...and PG's way outta line with suggesting I ever said "tell someone they asked a stupid question".

Are peeps really skipping most of what I write these days?

Good grief...

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Sep 17, 2010 12:13pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1970 Box of Rain

No, no, I was just reacting to the whole flap, feeling guilty that I started it, inadvertently, by asking, um, a stupid question. I think you're both right really - there is such a thing as a stupid question, OTOH the teacher doesn't have to *call* it a stupid question, it can be dealt with kindly, which I'm sure you always do.

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Poster: deadpolitics Date: Sep 17, 2010 12:42pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1970 Box of Rain

if you started it, then i was responsible for feeding the fire at a crucial stage. i tend to agree with PG on this one.

giving anything the label of "stupid" is an act of judgement. and the judgement says more about the person doing the judging than the target of judgement. even WT conceded that stupid is a vague label and described many scenarios in which questions are annoying. but honestly, that doesn't make them stupid.

stupid is a vague word with diminutive intention. calling something stupid just isn't trying hard enough to come up with a more clear description. you had to clarify that yourself after this discussion began that you were actually lazy because you weren't good at searching the archive.

and look, now you have been linked to a few great sites with much better user interface and now you are endowed with knowledge!



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Poster: William Tell Date: Sep 17, 2010 3:05pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1970 Box of Rain

Right; but as I explained below, I used "stupid" since that's the origin (in the cliche), and the fact is no matter what you call them, they are "bad" if anything but "good" (read other ramblings for explanation, but you get the point).

What I really quibble with is that again, the support of the "ask any question, any time" is misguided, misdirected. It's like saying "speak your mind, any time any place", blah, blah, blah.

We should all, I think, be much more introspective and articulate when conversing, learning, interacting...

Notice I so frequently reject this advice, but the prinicple stands, don't ya think?

BTW, I am in fact the opposite of the prof you alluded to, BUT I do appreciate the kind implication (right?). I think that the way to an audience's brain is thru three pathways: first, connect to prior experience (ie, build linkages between your info and something--anything--they already possess); you can't reach them if they can't "connect" what you are saying and form relationships by building on what they already know. Second, organize your info AND your expectations of your audience (losing the AUD is the cardinal sin; note again how often I exhibit this flaw HERE, huh?!); they must know where you are starting from, where you are going, and when you get there, AND they must know what you expect of them in very simply terms (tests, performance, etc., etc.). Third, humor (must be AUD specific, and most useful when selfdeprecating, but it is undervalued by many, and used inappropriately by many more).

Teaching is MUCH more difficult than most imagine. You'll never have a better job, except being a parent, and you'll never burnout nor get bored, nor get over "changing someone's life" when they tell you that you did...I've been doing it forty yrs, and you never stop getting better at it, which is an amazingly motivating factor.

Are you going to go on in academia, Junior? Would love to talk more...

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Sep 17, 2010 5:27pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1970 Box of Rain

"Teaching is MUCH more difficult than most imagine. You'll never have a better job, except being a parent, and you'll never burnout nor get bored, nor get over "changing someone's life" when they tell you that you did..."

Could not agree more. Most rewarding job I ever had, albeit it mostly at the high school level, and my wife now works with two of my former students. I hope to one day make the leap back to academia.

And there are stupid questions and many stupid people. How else does one explain the turnout in DC for Beck and Palin?

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Poster: William Tell Date: Sep 18, 2010 7:06am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1970 Box of Rain

I have a handful of old friends that have always had that as their dream too...to return to teaching at some level when they get done with a life time job of some other sort or another. Good deal.

Of course, teaching as I do at "highest levels" with research focused sorts is a far cry from HS settings, so I have the best of both worlds...I don't have to deal with "age related disciplinary" aspects...they can get in the way of real teaching. But, you also get them when they are a bit more responsive too. I think it's easier to burnout at that level though, overall.

Go for it big guy, go for it...someday soon.

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Poster: billydlions Date: Sep 17, 2010 6:23pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1970 Box of Rain

We need more stimulus money (so who's really stupid?).

http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_upshot/20100917/bs_yblog_upshot/report-los-angeles-spent-70-million-in-stimulus-funds-to-create-7-76-jobs

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Poster: advokat Date: Sep 17, 2010 7:41pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1970 Box of Rain

So, is your point that this President's administration was responsible for how the City of Los Angeles misspent money?

And, yes, I do believe the stimulus was woefully inadequate.

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Sep 17, 2010 12:51pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1970 Box of Rain

Well, I kind of feel I made a fool of myself, 'cus how hard can it be to find a particular song in 1970 if it was only played once in 1970? OTOH, my mistake wasn't really that stupid; I didn't have the baseline knowledge that it was only played once. I assumed it was played many times in 1970 and that searching, therefore, would be time consuming. I just figured someone knew the answer, and would springboard from there into discussions of "Box of Rain 1970."

I didn't figure they would springboard instead to educational maladies of our era ... lordy. And now we've offended the prime minister (emeritus).

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Poster: deadpolitics Date: Sep 17, 2010 1:30pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1970 Box of Rain

I assume Box of Rain WAS played many times in 1970. It is a sad state of affairs that no other tapes exist. Perhaps in the vault somewheres? This is a good question for Lemieux!

It's nice to have a more or less friendly diversion from the GD sometimes on here. These kinds of discussions always impress me with the maturity, eloquence, intelligence, and aptitude for debate of posters around here. Love me some food for thought. Yummmmm

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Poster: William Tell Date: Sep 17, 2010 11:58am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1970 Box of Rain

Apples and oranges, my friend. You missed my first post where I said "polite...with respect...etc.", right?

And, I think you are going way too far to suggest that recognition of "bad/inappropriate/stupid" questions stifles learning.

On the contrary, it encourages it.

Does giving a medal to every kid on the soccer team encourage better play? Or self esteem?

Dunno.

But as Ring Lee O noted, this is the slippery slope this kind of edu speak pushes toward.

Now, I will repeat: never publicly state "that's a dumb question" to one asking (that's not polite)...but, learn how to ask useful and significant questions, when appropriate, so that in group settings all learning is not hampered by inappropriate off topic outbursts that are really thinly disguised means of drawing attn to yourself.

This has nothing to do with "questioning authority" and the other topics you allude to...sorry if I misunderstood, but really think that's a stretch.